As 2015 draws to a close, the population of United States professionals who make a living freelancing is at an all-time high. As of October, 2015, 46% of the U.S. population is employed. 36% of all U.S. workers are freelancers. (See sources below) Every year, freelancers are earning more money and this trend don't show signs of slowing. The question is, have you hired a freelancer in the past year, and if not, how come?
As a professional designer with a range of skills and full-time freelancer of two years, I believe there are many win-win perks of freelancing. A win-win perk is one that not only suits the freelancer's needs, but the clients' as well. Here are seven reasons to hire a freelancer.
When you're considering hiring a professional to do a job, you want the best your money can buy, right? When you hire a freelancer, you hire someone who works for his or her self. Reputation and referrals are the life blood of a freelancer's income. With a bad reputation, a freelancer might be hard-pressed to find or land new clients. With a reputation on the line, a good freelancer will often work his or her tail off to impress a client. This means that you'll often get the best quality work your money can buy when you find the right freelancer.
You already know that communication is key when more than one person is working to accomplish a single goal. With freelancers often working remotely, effective communication becomes more crucial. When you hire a freelancer, you have only one person to contact should you need to. It's never a question of getting ahold of the right person or tracking him or her down. Having a single point of contact makes working with a freelancer easy. It also cuts down on the number of calls, texts, emails etc. you need to transmit to make your point.
Although this varies, many freelancers work when a projects commands their time. This means that 9-5 M-F isn't the only time you can get a job done. Most freelancers work far fewer than 40 hours per week and thus are flexible and open to working late hours or on weekends. If you prefer, you can even have freelancers half-way around the world working in a different timezone while you sleep.
Many of my clients come to me with a project and need it finished in a week or even a few days. Sometimes a presentation needs to be prepped for an investor meeting or another important event on short notice. While most design firms would not be able to accommodate such an aggressive deadline, I'm nearly always able to meet a tight deadline. This is one of my clients' favorite perks of working with a freelancer.
Design by committee can kill a project. After everyone has gotten involved, been heard and influenced the project, it's not uncommon to be left with a boring 'average' solution. Unfortunately, this can happen at companies and design firms that aren't well-managed. One benefit of hiring a freelancer is that you're working with one person. There are fewer chances of your idea or concept getting watered down and becoming mediocre.
Boost Local Economy
If you enjoy doing some good by supporting local business, you should try to hire a local or at the very least a domestic freelancer. By keeping your dollars in the same community that you participate in, you'll be improving local spending power. The local services and goods business benefit from keeping money local. Contributing to your local community is an easy way to do good and should help you sleep at night.
Perhaps one of the most obvious and notable perks of hiring a freelancer is that it will almost certainly cost you less than hiring another multi-person company. I'm not suggesting you pinch pennies or hire the lowest bidder, but at one point, there is diminished return on your investment. You want to invest in a long-term relationship with a skilled, professional who can accommodate your needs while respecting your budget. By finding the right freelancer who will meet or even exceed your expectations, you can increase the value of your own business and network. Freelancers do have expenses, but often much less overhead than for example, a design firm that pays benefits, insurances, commercial rent and extraneous utilities.
This article is not intended to criticize or target design firms or other professionals services. I'm simply making a point of the many perks of hiring a freelancer. Often times, hiring a freelancer is the perfect solution for a smaller company who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford a service or product. As a business owner and freelancer, I understand both sides of the coin and find it very easy to empathize with my clients.
1. Quality - Freelancers have an incentive to do their best work (their reputation)
2. Communication - Single point of contact
3. Hours - Many freelancers will work through the weekend
4. Turnaround - Able to meet aggressive deadlines
5. No Bureaucracy - Design integrity is preserved when there are fewer decision-makers involved
6. Boost Local Economy - By choosing to work with a local or domestic freelancer, you support local business/economy
7. Cost - Often more affordable than design firm
Should you be in the market for a freelance designer or renderer, look no further! I hold a product design degree from a world-class design institution and have a successful track record of working with a diverse pool of clients all over the United States. I'm able to help with bringing your products and concepts to life. I also am able to create photo-realistic renderings and animations for marketing purposes or to visualize a concept that's not yet been produced. I work on everything from interiors to products.
http://willgibbonsdesign.com (Portfolio, Writing, Blog, About)